April 28, 2014

Review: The Winner's Curse by: Marie Rutkoski

The Winner’s Curse (The Winner’s Trilogy #1) by: Marie Rutkoski (March 2014)
355 Pages
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy
Source: The Library
Goodreads Summary: Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

My Review

The Winner’s Curse had me hooked from beginning to end. There wasn’t a single dull or boring moment.

What did I like about The Winner’s Curse? I pretty much liked it ALL. Rutkoski can write, and she can write well. The descriptions were vivid, the people were memorable, the setting and fighting was easy to imagine. I was even clouded with emotion while reading about the oppression of the slaves. It was also perfectly paced. Although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, it was so much more.

The characters in The Winner's Curse will blow you away. I can honestly say that I felt something for each and every one of them, whether it was hatred or love. Kestrel, the general’s daughters, is intelligent and brave and Arin is also intelligent and brave, making those two and their very sticky/complex relationship a battle of the minds and soul. It was perfectly well done, and I’m not even talking about just the romance. Their relationship was something beyond that. I loved Kestrel’s friendship with Jess and Ronan as well, it seemed true. I refuse to go into any further details because I don’t want to give anything away... so moving on.

One of my favorite parts of The Winner’s Curse was how much strategy played an important role in the whole thing. Everyone was always needing to stay one step ahead of the other characters. It wasn’t just a book about war, it was a game of wits and strategy. I couldn’t’ even tell you whose side I was on sometimes. 

The Winner’s Curse will be sure to delight fans of all different types of young adult fantasy novels. It’s the perfect book for the readers who enjoy a plot that is ever moving and changing, the ones who love a book that will make you think, and who likes reading about war and strategies.

Bottom Line: I'm ready for book two!


  1. This is the first brand new YA book in a while that I've gotten really excited about....but I'm not sure I really want to read it yet since it's only a book #1 :/ I will get to it eventually, but I may be stubborn and wait til the whole series is out :)

    1. I don't blame you. I read so many series...lately a lot of the time I've been waiting until at least two books have come out already. lol

  2. "It wasn’t just a book about war, it was a game of wits and strategy." THIS. and "I couldn’t’ even tell you whose side I was on sometime" THIS. Exactly! This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved it! I love all the conniving and the wonderful characters and the forbidden romance. I felt so conflicted in who I was rooting for. So so good. I can't wait for the next one!

    1. Exactly!! I thank you for getting me to read this book! I have this great feeling that the next one will be even better! Okay, done with the exclamations.


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